Bag Design: How to Make Bags at Home @ Reward Me

Make Yourself A Pretty Bag

To achieve this patchwork effect, squares and rectangles of fabric are joined with strips to create framed blocks.

You will need:

  • download patchwork diagram here.
  • vintage napkin with scalloped edges
  • selection of cotton prints with designs and colour contrasting with the napkin's
  • cream fabric for backing the napkin
  • dressmaker’ s soluble pen
  • ruler
  • Steam-A-Seam bonding web
  • teflon-coated sheets
  • matching coloured sewing thread
  • rotary cutter
  • small pair of sharp scissors

NOTE The Steam-A-Seam bonding web and Teflon-coated sheets are available at good fabric stores; they are products specially designed for quilters.

Before you begin
Prewash all cotton fabrics separately to remove any starch and also to ensure they are completely colour-fast.

To cut
NOTE: A 5mm seam allowance has been included in all measurements. Remove all the borders from the cotton prints and use a ruler and a dressmaker’ s soluble pen to mark the fabric accurately before you cut. Choose one cotton print fabric for the joining strips. Use a rotary cutter to cut the pieces of fabric. From the cotton prints, cut out 15cm strips in a selection of colours. Now cut these into lengths of 16.5cm and 9cm. From the cotton print fabrics, cut 21.5 and 14cm long 10cm strips. From the napkin, cut a 15 x 16.5cm block. From the printed fabric slected for the joining strips, cut 4cm wide strips in the following lengths: 37cm, 32cm, 15cm and 10cm. Refer to the diagram (link) for the correct cutting and placement.

Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag To cut

Steps To Make The Fabric

Step 1 - With the right side of the fabrics uppermost, place the napkin and all the corresponding strips and rectangles in the correct order on a flat surface, until one framed block has been completed and you are happy with the order of the fabrics.

Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag-2 Step 1 Step 2

Step 2 - Place a Teflon-coated sheet on top of your ironing board and place the Steam-ASeam paper right side down. Now place the napkin with the wrong side facing the paper, making sure that there is sufficient paper around the napkin so that the edges will adhere securely.

Step 3 - Place another sheet of Teflon on top of the napkin. Press gently with a hot iron ensuring the bonding agent is applied to all parts of the napkin. Remove the Teflon-coated sheets.
NOTE Some of the bonding agent will be stuck to the sheet, but this can be easily removed once cool.


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Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag Step 3 Step 4

Step 4 - Use scissors to trim the glue paper away from the scalloped edges of the napkin. Reinforce the napkin patch by placing the napkin and the piece of cream fabric together, wrong sides facing, with a 15mm allowance for cutting afterwards. Press between the Teflon sheets. Trim to the original size, excluding the scalloped edge.

Step 5 - Sew the strips and rectangles together in the correct order, starting from the napkin and working outwards. Press the seams gently to one side as you work. If necessary, trim the strips to fit as you work.

Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag Step 5 Step 6

Step 6 - Continue in this way until all the pieces are joined together. This completes one patchwork block. Repeat in exactly the same way until you have made sufficient blocks to sew together to make the fabric for your handbag.

How To make The Handbag

You will need:

  • download handbag pattern here.
  • Patchwork fabric
  • Patchwork remnant fabric
  • Lightweight iron-on batting
  • Linen fabric
  • Woven iron-on interfacing
  • Matching thread

Steps To Make:

  1. All seam allowances are 1cm. Iron the wadding on to the back of the patchwork fabric and a piece of remnant fabric large enough for the gusset. Cut two handbag side panels from the patchwork and another two from the linen. Cut one gusset panel from the remnant fabric and one from the linen.
  2. Sew the patchwork gusset to one of the patchwork side panels. Start and stop at the two dots marked on the pattern pieces. Next, sew the gusset to the second side panel in the same manner. Finally, sew the seams of the two side panels above the gusset. This completes the patchwork bag. To work the inner linen bag, sew the linen gusset to the linen side panels in the same way, and complete the side seams.
  3. With the patchwork bag wrong side out and the linen bag right side out, place the linen bag inside the patchwork bag and pin the upper seam allowances. Sew the seam, leaving an opening approximately 8cm long. Turn the bags right side out. Push the inner bag into the outer bag, fold the seam allowances at the opening to the inside and pin the two layers together. Sew a row of top stitching 1mm in from the edge.
  4. Cut two 32 x 5cm strips from the linen and two from the woven interfacing. Iron the interfacing on to the back of the linen strips. Fold the strips lengthwise, right sides together, and sew the seam to form a 32cm long tube. Turn the tubes right sides out and press flat with the seam allowance running along one edge. Push 1cm to the inside at both ends of each strip and press.
  5. Pin and sew the strips to the bag to form the handles, positioning the ends 3cm in from the side seam and 2,5cm down from the top edge of the bag.
Quilt_a_Pretty_Bag Quilt bag

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